Roulette Bets Explained: Outside Bets

Outside bets in roulette are those that almost everyone plays, the two-sided and three-sided bets that pay 1:1 or 2:1. They are by far the most popular roulette bets, and in this article, we’ll see what the best way to play them. We should consider one of two other types of bets – inside bets and called bets – instead.

 Table of Outside Bets with Payouts

 Everyone knows outside bets, but let’s list all of them with their respective payouts.

Name Description Payout
Red/Black Bet on Red or Black numbers 1 to 1
Odd/Even Bet on Odd or Even numbers 1 to 1
First 18/Second 18 Bet on 1-18 or 19-36 1 to 1
1st/2nd/3rd Column Bet on one of 3 columns with 12 numbers each 2 to 1
1st/2nd/3rd Dozen Bet on 1-12, 13-24 or 25-36 2 to 1

Red/Black, Odd/Even and First 18/Second 18 are two-sided bets in which we are betting on 18 numbers with 18 plus zero left out, so our chances to win (on single-zero roulette) are 18/37 = 48.65%.

 There are only two three-sided bets, and you can go for a sequence of numbers such as 1-12, 13-24 or 25-36, or bet on one of the columns, which will give you an exciting group of numbers. In all cases, you’re getting the same number of Red/Black and the same number of Odd/Even numbers, no matter which column or a group of 12 you choose.

 Compared to two-sided bets, three-sided bets come with an additional perk as you can choose 2 out of 3 and therefore cover two-thirds of the wheel. Excluding the zero, of course. Choosing two of the three available columns, for example, would cover 24/37 numbers and give you 64.87% chance to win.

 How to Play Outside Bets

 By far the most popular outside bet is Red/Black because it’s easier to track than Odd/Even since they come with a strong visual cue. It is for this reason that most other outside bets are disregarded. It doesn’t really matter which one you choose as all two-sided bets give you the same chance of winning.

 It is the three-sided bets that are the least popular, though they can cunningly be used to either make a betting strategy ultra-aggressive by giving yourself only a 32.43% chance to win on a 2 to 1 payout. You can make a betting strategy have lower variance by going with two out of three options on that three-sided bet.

 Betting Strategies

 Due to their coin flip nature, two-sided bets are the common choice for all betting strategies that aim to exploit various mathematical laws that come with a long sequence of two-sided bets. Most of these strategies have a fallacy of some sort embedded in them, and none has yet been proven to be able to beat the game of roulette.

 Still, most players will take Red/Black as the most obvious roulette bet that is essentially a coin flip, and then will apply a certain betting strategy to it. With two-sided bets, being as simple as they are, the only variation can ever come from the betting strategy that is used.

 The most popular betting strategies include L`abouchere, Oscar’s Grind, James Bond, and some of the usual suspects such as Martingale and Fibonacci that usually leave a gambler broke and force him to think about some other betting strategy.

 Increase the variance

 The best way to play a two-sided roulette bet remains betting on one side, leaving the casino in case of a win and leaving the casino in case of a loss. Almost half of the time you’ll win, whereas betting strategies have a way of leading you towards bankruptcy as you chase losses much more often than half of the time.

 In essence, it is generally better to bet a bigger portion of your bank on a two-sided bet than you normally would, in order to reduce the number of spins and increase the variance. With a perfect split of Red and Black outcomes over a long sequence of spins, the gambler will inevitably lose because of the house edge.

 With a smaller sample, it’s equally likely that you’ll win a few times in a row. However, if that happens with larger stakes, you’ll likely win a nice sum. Whereas with a long grind with small stakes, a series of wins would only serve to keep your balance slightly positive at best.

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